Yet another customer had cheated him of his pay, and there was nothing Santon could do but continue working, selling his wares. This was not the first time Santon had not received money for the fruit and vegetables he sold, nor would it be the last. All the man wanted was to provide for his wife and four children. Being frauded out of his earnings made it almost impossible—and frustrating.
A Life Without Peace
Santon was familiar with hardship; he had known it for most of his life. Born into a poor family, Santon was forced to drop out of school in fifth grade because his parents could no longer afford to send him to school. Santon joined his father working daily labor jobs.
When he was old enough, Santon left home with one desire: to provide for his parents. For the next 14 years, Santon applied for job after job. Each application was rejected because of his lack of education. The only option left to him was returning to daily labor.
Eventually, Santon married and, with the birth of his children, had more mouths to feed. To better provide for his growing family, Santon decided to sell fruits and vegetables door to door. Hopefully, it would be better than daily labor. Hopefully, he could send some money to his parents.
But Santon quickly discovered it wasn’t that simple. Customers cheated him daily, not paying him the proper amount for his wares. Also, Santon had nowhere to safely and properly store his fruits and vegetables. The money Santon had invested in this venture was not returned. On top of that, their baby daughter had been diagnosed with polio. Everything was going wrong, and Santon didn’t know what to do but quit.
Relief for a Father’s Burdens
Santon was on the verge of giving up his dreams. Maybe he should just return to daily labor. It wasn’t much, but at least it was a living. And he didn’t have to deal with cheating customers.
After the Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers listened to Santon share the burdens weighing on him, they knew what to do. They invited him to a gift distribution, where they provided him with a cart for selling a variety of cosmetic items. Through the cart, Santon made money to provide for his family, and even earned enough to send back to his parents—a dream at long last realized. Santon thanked the staff; grateful he finally had a decent source of income and could provide for his family.
The Bridge of Hope staff also asked if Santon would like to enroll one of his sons at the center, where he could obtain what Santon himself had never completed: an education.
Santon heartily agreed, thankful that his family’s survival had been ensured through the cart, and its future had been cemented in Santon’s son attending the center. The schooling Santon’s son received would enable him to get jobs Santon was turned away from, ending the hold poverty had over their family.